MLB Division Betting Trends: National League West

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 3:05 PM GMT

All of the sudden we have race to the top of the National League West. This has made it confusing for baseball handicappers who thought they had the right read on the leader.


This is baseball, and being a daily sport, the ebbs and flows will not only be small in nature, but tumultuous, as well. Here is a look ahead at how you might want to consider each team in this division for your MLB picks.


San Francisco Giants
Once the top choice for sports picks against the betting odds, San Francisco has been in free-fall like they fell off the top of one the nearby giant Redwood trees. The Giants have lost 11 of 14, and two of those victories came at Arizona, who has the worst home record in baseball, diminishing the achievement. 

What has happened to San Fran?

The loss of Angel Pagan has really hurt the offense, since he is the catalyst, and they are more than 20 games below .500 since last season when he’s out of the lineup. The starting pitching and the back end of the bullpen has become less reliable, having held the opposition to under four runs just three times in this span, and surrendering 5.35 runs a game. Even their early season dominance at home has dissipated, and home series with Cincinnati and St. Louis are less certain now for a club which lost 10.05 units since June 9.


Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have picked up a great deal of ground the last two weeks in the NL West and are 11-5 (+5.55 units) since June 8. What has ended up benefitting Los Angeles more than hurting them have been injuries to extra outfielders, causing less strain for playing time on Don Mattingly, who’s attempted to juggle this roster.

The pitching has also been improved, holding the opposition to three or fewer runs in 12 of their last 21 games, and only conceding more than five runs twice in that span, keeping them in contests. 

L.A. has been a solid bet versus the MLB odds on the road at 23-16 (+5) and improving at home record-wise to 18-20. Next up finds St. Louis and Cleveland at Dodger Stadium before traveling to Denver and Detroit. The Dodgers are -4.4 units on the season and should in the black by the All-Star break.


Colorado Rockies
The Rockies finally ended their seven-game losing streak, yet as sportsbooks realize, that is like putting a band-aid on a broken bone. Colorado pitchers have allowed 6.6 runs per game in their last 28 outings, explaining why they have gone 8-20.

If does not matter what kind of offense you have; overcoming these gigantic numbers is impossible night after night. With no help noticed in the minors, manager Walt Weiss and his coaches just have to work with the pitchers they have to improve, and hope the offense stays at a high level. 

The Rocks are 15-24 away (-6) and have rugged road ahead playing at Milwaukee and Washington, before returning home for a long stretch. Bet against Colorado on the road, and pick your spots at home.


San Diego Padres
After being unable to plate more than five times in 19 consecutive games, San Diego has resembled the 1927 Yankees (by their standards) in scoring six or more times in three of their last five contests.

The Padres still have the worst offense in the big leagues by a considerable margin at 3.05 runs a game (4.15 RPG is average), nonetheless, you take progress where you can find it.

This punch-less squad is wholly dependent on pitching, since in games decided by two or more runs the Friars are 19-36. San Diego has a nice nine-game homestand to improve on their 19-21 record (-4.9), facing Arizona, Cincinnati and San Francisco.

If you are thinking about betting for or against the Pads, instead take the surest bet, the 'under,' since they are the best totals play in the majors at 49-25.


Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks...what can we say? They have been the worst bet in the National League all season.

About the only way Arizona moves up is when the Cubs trade two of their best starting pitchers for more suspects, sorry, prospects, and they go into full face-plant mode.

The D-Backs have the worst home record (15-29) and run differential in baseball (-65) and lacks the talent to turn anything around. If Arizona continues to play the same way, this projects to a 66-win season, well below their preseason projection by sportsbooks of 80. 

On the upbeat side, the Snakes are 18-18 (+3.3) outside the Grand Canyon State and beginning Friday will be at San Diego, Pittsburgh and Atlanta, trying to find positives.